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Women of the 21st Century

Twin of the Day — Clementine: Clementine is thankful for the privileges that attach to her status as a woman of the 21st Century. As a student of history, she realizes that in the not so distant past, women were treated as mere possessions or second class citizens. BUT, as a modern woman, she is free to follow her wildest hopes and dreams — whether it’s raising a traditional family in the suburbs, dedicating her life to public service, competing as an MMA fighter, or even traveling across the cosmos as an astronaut surgeon.

However, she’s a little anxious after overhearing a conversation between mom and dad. I, somewhat facetiously, expressed how happy I was to have girls — “We don’t have to worry about them playing football and suffering brain damage!” Michelle quickly shot back, “What a relief! We just have to worry about eating disorders and being raped by football players.”

“Daddy, didn’t you play football?”

“Yes, sweetie.”

“How many women did you rape?”

“None sweetie. In fact, daddy was a virgin till he was 26.”

“TMI daddy! T.M.I. — But are you saying that not all football players rape women?”

“Correct, sweetie, but athletes are more sexually aggressive than non-athletes — A 1990s study found that ‘male student-athletes only make up 3.3 percent of the population, but they account for 19 percent of sexual assault perpetrators.’”

“How many athletes raped mom?”

“None, sweetie. Your mom was the victim of sexual assault, but he was not an athlete.”

“So, it’s not just athletes? All men are capable of rape?”

“Yes, but there are good men out there.”

“Like you, daddy?”

“Exactly. And times are changing — sexual assaults against women fell 64 percent between 1995 and 2005. Who knows, by the time you’re in high school, there could be a complete cultural shift.”

“Daddy, how do I know if a guy is rapey?”

“Unfortunately, you can never really know for sure — that’s why you should never go home with a man without first introducing him to mom and dad.”

“And then you and mommy will kindly ask him not to rape me?”

“Well, sort of, sweetie. I was talking to an Uber driver last week — an older man — who passed on some fatherly wisdom. Whenever you bring a guy home, I’m gonna shake the guy’s hand — nice and firm — and with a big smile I’ll say, ‘“You best treat my daughter with respect. I’m not afraid of going BACK to prison.’”

“But daddy, you’re an attorney-at-law — if anyone hurts me you can SUE their butt off!”

“Clemmy, if anyone ever hurts you, they will not meet Daddy, Esq; they will meet my primal wrath!”

“But daddy, if you to go to prison, you won’t be able to be daddy.”

“Good point sweetie — but I WILL BE someone’s bitch.”

“Daddy, I’m serious — I believe in the rule of law! If anyone ever hurts me, I’ll make a criminal complaint with the proper authorities and then allow the formal process to unfold.”

“Well, sweetie, it’s not that simple. The police are not always on your side — your mother went to the police to report a stalker a few years ago — they treated her like a little girl who had dropped her ice cream cone. And mommy’s friend was similarly disrespected when she accused a man of rape — the police tried to convince her that the sex consensual.”

“That’s f***ing ridiculous, daddy! The police are sworn to protect and serve!”

“Yes, but their better judgement is often swayed by other factors. Some police precincts are instructed to keep violent crime stats down to create the appearance of safer neighborhoods.”

Well daddy, instead of going all vigilante like Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver, maybe you can escort me to the police station. The cops have to take me seriously if I have my attorney present.”

“Another good point, sweetie — but you still might choose to avoid putting yourself through a public trial, along with the trauma of being harassed and ridiculed by opposing counsel.”

“But daddy, it’s not just about me! I want to stand up to abusers, not just for my sake, but to protect potential future victims.”

“That’s very bold sweetie. But you’ve obviously never dealt with the criminal justice system. In exchange for eye for an eye, and blood feuds, we’ve evolved to a system that’s NON-VIOLENT, but it’s also time consuming, inefficient, highly stressful (for victims), and does not always lead to justice.”

“Gee whiz dad! You’ve painted quite the bleak future. Maybe I should just avoid men altogether.”

“Actually, it’d be great if you or Penny turned out to be lesbian.”

“Really!? So, you’ll be at ease as long as one of us avoids sexual assault?”

“No! Not at all. But if one of you is gay, then you won’t fight over boyfriends. In all honesty, same-sex relationships can be just as violent as heterosexual ones.”

“Ha! You’re just saying that so I’ll introduce you to my girlfriends. Dad, I think you should stop talking — at least until you have a chance to consult with a lawyer.”

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